Russian, Azerbaijani leaders discuss Karabakh situation

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in a phone talk on Thursday.

The two presidents discussed ways to ensure lasting peace and development in the region, as well as the progress on the restoration of transport networks, the Kremlin said in a statement.

"The results of the Russian-Armenian high-level talks held in Moscow on April 7 were taken into account," it said.

During the six week-conflict, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce last November, Azerbaijan liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from nearly three decades of Armenian occupation.

Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan — the two former Soviet republics — have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

A joint Turkish-Russian center was established to monitor the truce. Russian peacekeeping troops have also been deployed in the region.